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Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, Book 1) by…
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Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, Book 1) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Lois Mcmaster Bujold

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1,777653,949 (3.74)84
Member:EricZawadzki
Title:Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, Book 1)
Authors:Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Info:Harper Voyager (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold (2006)

Recently added byyoukosiren, zedille, private library, auntiemg, MaryPieroCarey, MelindaKucsera
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    flemmily: The Sharing Knife series and the Chronicles of the Warlands series have very similarly treated romances, and both feature unusual urban women who become entrenched in non-urban cultures. The Sharing Knife has more elements of fantasy/magic and is a little more weighty, but both series are very enjoyable.… (more)
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Fawn Bluefield spent the night in a barn and she’s a bit road weary for it. She had to leave her family’s farm and now she’s on her way to Glassforge, one of the larger cities, to find work. However, she’s soon swept up in an adventure she didn’t anticipate, one that takes much from her but holds the possibility of giving her much in return.

I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. Fawn is in her late teens or early twenties and she has made this tough choice to head out on her own. We learn really early on that she’s pregnant and she doesn’t want to burden her family with the consequences, but she also doesn’t want to face their ridicule. As we learn about Fawn and her troubles, we also learn about this magical world around her. Plus, Fawn is short for her age and folks tend to underestimate her, or talk over her head and she has to correct them on that.

The Lakewalkers are little known to Fawn, other than she thinks it’s best to leave them alone. They patrol the area, often hunting malices and their mudmen. As a malice grows in size, it starts kidnapping more and more humans to do it’s bidding. The Lakewalkers do their best to put down these malices but with the constant suspicion from the settled folks, it can be a bit tough. Dag is an older Lakewalker with plenty of scars and losses to bear. Yet when Fawn needs his help, he doesn’t hesitate. The Lakewalker patrols are made up of both men and women and seem a but more open about several things, things that Fawn asks about later on, much to my amusement as it makes Dag blush!

I was definitely fascinated by the sharing knives and the groundsense the Lakewalkers have. This mystical element really drew me in and I found myself pondering all the ways one could make use of groundsense. I’m sure the Lakewalkers have some intricate social niceties when it comes to groundsense, just trying to be polite and not intrude on one another’s private thoughts and feelings. The sharing knives were intriguing but I found the rules for their making and use to be confusing. Perhaps that is better explained further along in the series.

The malices made me think of alien spores that were left here to terraform the planet to the aliens’s liking but were then abandoned because we have Lakewalkers who have sharing knives. Anyway, the malice in this story isn’t a straight up evil. It’s not something that Fawn can easily relate to or understand. But thankfully Dag has the experience and knows what to do! I think these malices are an interesting and worthy foe for the story.

Then we get to the second half of the book, which is just all romance. Now, I was already invested in Fawn and Dag, so I finished the book out. But I am not a romance genre person so I found the second half of the book slow and uneventful. There were some little nuggets here and there, such as meeting Fawn’s grandmother and learning about the bindings Lakewalkers use in their relationships, but the bulk of it was a snooze for me.

I really liked that the author put in common things that many women have to deal with that we typically don’t see in other fantasy fiction. There’s accidental pregnancy, miscarriage, talk of menstruation, and rape. Just an FYI – the rape is left incomplete because the bad guy is no longer able to continue on. I think authors shouldn’t be afraid to include such things in fiction because many of these things happen to many women and women make up a sizable part of the reading community. Kudos to the author for doing so!

I’m intrigued enough to want to continue the series but I probably won’t be dashing off to do so. Half a book of romance will last me quite some time.

The Narration: Bernadette Dunne was great for this book. She had a practical, if sometimes young, Fawn down to a tee. I also liked her gruff voice for Dag. She had a great older female voice for the practical Mari, Dag’s patrol captain. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jul 11, 2016 |
Main review at the end, on Horizon. This is the one where they meet, and Dag is introduced to Fern's family ( )
  atreic | Jul 10, 2016 |
I picked up a copy of this at the used book store-- it sounded good enough that I actually grabbed the sequel, too, and now, after shutting the book after the final page, I'm exceedingly glad I did. It's nice to find an author who creates an interesting world and magic system, with some really likable characters and a good plot line, and know that there are more books of the author's out there. Happy reading ahead! (Of course, on the second day of reading, I accidentally left the book behind when I was having some tests done, and only realized it when I was halfway home. I'd been at the hospital a long time, was late for my next activity, was walking, and it was raining. I didn't go back, but when I got home, requested a copy from the library and picked it up the next day to resume reading. Win, again!) ( )
  bookczuk | Mar 28, 2016 |
Bujold is a talented storyteller, but this book didn’t really grab me. It’s an exciting love story with lots of fight scenes, but I didn’t really like the main characters and the plot itself felt worn. A quick, enjoyable read, but nothing I’ll remember. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I found this book to be delightful (and I'm not a regular user of that adjective). I loved the setting, the characters, the romance, the bad guys...and it's freaking hilarious! Yay for well-written fantasy! The action is all in the beginning, and the rest of the book covers the romance developing between the two main characters. It's very much a "first installment" - there is obviously much to come. Can't wait to get my hands on the next one. ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bujold, Lois McMasterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bell, JulieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunne, BernadetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serrano, ErvinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Fawn came to the well-house a little before noon.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061139076, Mass Market Paperback)

An epic fantasy of devotion, destiny, and perilous magic, from one of the most honored writers in the field— multiple Hugo Award-winning author Lois McMaster Bujold

Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family’s farm. But on the way to the city, she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, nomadic soldier-sorcerers from the northern woodlands. Feared necromancers armed with mysterious knives made of human bone, they wage a secret on-going war against the scourge of the “malices,” immortal entities that draw the life out of their victims, enslaving human and animal alike. It is Dag—a Lakewalker patroller weighed down by past sorrows and present responsibilities—who must come to Fawn’s aid when she is taken captive by a malice. They prevail at a devastating cost—unexpectedly binding their fates together as they embark upon a remarkable journey into danger and delight, prejudice and partnership . . . and perhaps even love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:08 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Young Fawn Bluefield has fled her family's farm hoping to find work in the city of Glassforge. Uncertain about her future and the troubles she carries, Fawn stops for a drink of water at a roadside inn, where she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, enigmatic soldier-sorcerers from the woodland culture to the north. Fawn knows the stories about the Lake-walkers: they are necromancers; they practice black sorcery; they have no permanent homes and own only the clothes they wear and the weapons - mysterious knives made of human bone - they carry. What she does not know is that the Lakewalkers, as a whole, are engaged in a perilous campaign against inhuman and immortal magical entities known as "malices, " creatures that suck the life out of all they encounter, and turn men and animals into their minions." "Dag is an older Lakewalker patroller who carries his past sorrows as heavily as his present responsibilities. When Fawn is kidnapped by the malice Dag's patrol is tracking, Dag races to rescue her. But in the ensuing struggle, it is not Dag but Fawn who kills the creature - at dire cost - and an uncanny accident befalls Dag's sharing knife, which unexpectedly binds their two fates together. And so now the misenchanted knife must be returned to the Lakewalkers. Together, Fawn and Dag set out on the long road back to his camp. But on the journey this unlikely pair will encounter danger and delight, prejudice and partnership, and maybe even love."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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